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7 February 2022

Top Spots For Freshwater Fishing In BC

Photo by Jeremy Koreski/Destination BC

It is no secret that British Columbia is one of the top places in the world for fishing. Anglers from all over the world travel to Canada’s westernmost province to try their hand at deep-sea fishing in hopes of catching that prized coho or sockeye salmon or perhaps a halibut or ling cod. But BC is also home to thousands of freshwater lakes and rivers that offer some of the world’s best (and most scenic) spots for catching freshwater fish — such as trout, bass or sturgeon (and salmon too, as it is anadromous — living in both fresh and salt water).

If you’re considering heading to British Columbia and want to include some fishing in your itinerary, we’ve listed some top spots below for you to consider. Be sure to also check out our BC stays and our BC experiences pages for more inspiration when heading to beautiful British Columbia.

Photo by Andrew Strain/Destination BC

Where to go freshwater fishing in BC:

There are thousands of lakes and rivers in BC that are perfect for anglers looking to spend a day or a week on their sport. Certainly this list is by no means exhaustive as you could spent years travelling the province and never run out of new lakes to explore. However, we’ve listed a few places that are beautiful, fairly accessible (don’t require a floatplane!) and easily added to an itinerary.

Fishing near the Okanagan Valley

The Okanagan Valley‘s natural beauty is legendary: mountain peaks, lush valleys and stunning wineries abound. If you find yourself visiting this gorgeous oasis and want to fish, you won’t be disappointed. The lakes here have a wide variety of fish, including bass. In Osoyoos Lake, for example, you’ll find large whitefish, steelhead, yellow perch, sockeye salmon and rainbow trout, among others.

Fraser River Fishing

Fraser River is the largest river system in the province and an excellent spot for fishing. It is famously home to the world’s largest population of white sturgeon, which are the largest freshwater fish species in North America. White sturgeon have been known to grow up to six metres long (20 feet) and up to 100 years old. In additon to these massive fish, the Fraser also hosts millions of salmon during their annual runs.

Alice Lake Provincial Park

Just minutes from the City of Squamish is Alice Lake Provincal. Park, a lovely forested park that is family friendly and easy to access. While it can get busy here with campers during the summer months, the best time for fishing is actually the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. The lake has a wild trout population and is also stocked each year by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC with rainbow trout of catchable size.

Fishing Highway 24

Just north of Kamloops is Highway 24 that runs east-west between 97 and 5. This stretch of road has been dubbed Fishing Highway 24 due to an abundance of freshwater lakes accessible along the route. If you are visiting the Kamloops area and want to add some fishing to your adventures, you’ll have plenty of scenic spots from which to choose. Sheridan Lake, for example, is known for its large rainbow trout. Horse Lake has four species of fish worth catching, including lake trout and kokanee.

Photo by Christos Sagiorgis/Northern BC Tourism

Things to remember when going fishing in BC

  • Everyone 16 years of age or older needs a licence to fish in BC (and this is a different than a licence to fish in coastal waters)
  • Some areas in BC are mandated as catch-and-release only, some are closed to all fishing for various reasons. Before heading out, please check the provincial regulations for your area.
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Category: British Columbia